Posts Tagged ‘cardinal song’

I get a weekly writing prompt from Poets and Writers called The Time is Now.  This week’s nonfiction prompt was as follows:  “In Bird by Bird (Pantheon, 1994), Anne Lamott’s classic instructional treatise on writing and life, the author writes: “Writing a first draft is very much like watching a Polaroid develop. You can’t–and, in fact, you’re not supposed to–know exactly what the picture is going to look like until it has finished developing.” Keeping this in mind, write the beginnings of an essay whose direction and ending you don’t yet know. Start small, focusing closely on a single place, person, or incident, without thinking ahead. Then keep going: Allow the writing tell the story, and see what develops.”

This morning was a beautiful summer morning.  After walking my dog, I sat on the back deck eating my breakfast and drinking coffee.  A cardinal hopped into a nearby tree and starting singing loudly.  I wrote as I listened.

The red bird calls
from the crape myrtle branch
while the cat prowls,
Tee who, tee who, tee
who, who, who, who

He flutters higher into the cypress tree.
The cat jumps in, crouches
in the valley of trunk and branch.
The cardinal call is echoed across the water–
a conversation for soul mates
staccato notes in harmony
with the rising song of cicadas

As the breeze blows, the wind chime
joins the tune. I am the audience only
writing alone while
June rises with the sun
dancing with patterns on the bayou.
Cerulean sky domes the shapes of trees,
a horizon to this landscape.

Thich Nhat Hanh tells me to be mindful of the moment,
to tune in to my breath, in and out.
This moment of mindfulness
full of sounds, the cardinal and his mate,
makes me wonder
of the Almighty Hand
who created my world and guides my breath.
How am I so privileged to be here?
I hear this song so clearly;
I feel the breeze so softly,
an embrace from God,
my everlasting mother.


Audio of Morning Song

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